My first boss at my first real job out of college for a multi-million dollar computer manufacturing company once said to me, "Donya, I can tell that you work very hard. But you don't work smart." I had just graduated in the top 6% of my top-tiered university, having always put in extra work to ensure I got my A++'s. For someone to tell me I wasn't smart really stung. I slouched in the cushioned chair in my boss' office on the opposite side of her executive desk, wondering how she could fault me for working hard. She explained that the perfume box-sized model I built as miniature sample of my package design had excelled her expectations, but that I had put in more hours than the value of that project.

She was right! Over time I've learned that, even we designers shouldn't design everything from scratch because, in addition to hiring us for our knowledge of design applications and quick turnarounds, clients actually pay us for our collection of tools.

Over the years, I have downloaded a lot (thousands, if not millions) of fonts, photos and brushes that others were nice enough to share with me to make my job more efficient. I want to give back, so I'm going to start posting custom shapes (.CSH), actions (.ATN), and brushes (.ABR) -- tools for professional and amateur graphic designers alike -- that made my last job quicker and easier to carry from concept to final output.

Some will be my personal presets, and some will have been originally shared by fellow designers. These downloads and download recommendations won't always be free, but any tool that I purchase myself would never cost an arm or a leg. This is just a test, so the ABR's below are in a simple list, but I'll display the downloads in a much more functional presentation in the future.

Me ke aloha,

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    The Designer
    I am Donya -- my friends call me "d." I'm 31 years old, from the suburbs of Southern California. I used to want an office on the 42nd floor somewhere in Midtown East. After graduating and working at three multi-national corporations, I got laid off in 2008 like everyone else did. I then started d*Sine Lab as my freelance alter ego. It's been an eye-opening four years for me, including having  two kids and moving from California to North Carolina...far, far away from NYC.


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